On 16 December police arrested 11 comrades in a wave of raids on anarchist spaces and homes in Barcelona and other cities in the Spanish state (earlier articles here and here). Seven are still held in prison in Madrid: there is a list of their names and prison addresses here on actforfree, please write to them. Here are links to some more articles on the case, translated by contrainfo:
“Operation Pandora: Democracy imprisons 7 more anarchists” by Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth 22 December
The seven prisoners are accused of undefined “terrorism”. According to the prosecutor, the evidence against them includes finding numerous copies of a book called “Against Democracy”, written by the “Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados” (“Coordinated Anarchist Groups”, GAC), in the raided buildings. The GAC is an anarchist organisation, active since 2012, which the Spanish state is trying to paint as a “terrorist” network.
Below is a translation into English of the preface and introduction of the book, which is a theoretical critique of contemporary democracy rather than a “terror manual”. The whole thing (92 pages) is available in Spanish here.
This bunch of pages you have in your hands represents a small contribution from the Coordinated Anarchist Groups (GAC: Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados) to the combat against democracy. Democracy is the current and most generalised form of political domination (as the principal and most perfected articulation of the state), a mentality that is authoritarian, delegating and submissive, and the ideal legal framework for the development of the capitalist economy, source of exploitation and misery.
It is for these reasons, and also faced with an alarming demand for more and better democracy coming from many sectors that have increasingly started to protest and disobey recently, a demand that almost always leads to a phagocytosis (**) of real and radical struggles, that over the last two years we have conducted a campaign against this dominating and domesticating monster of democracy. These texts, all homemade, are part of this campaign. We hope with them to contribute modestly to the huge task that is fighting the State, Capitalism and all forms of Authority, in pursuit of a world without either rulers or ruled, in pursuit of Anarchy.
A rebel greeting and we hope that you can enjoy our small contribution.
Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados.
(** Phagocytosis: micro-physiological process in which cells engulf and ingest particles).
Why attack democracy?
Democracy justifies itself by principles which, though they are repeated a thousand times, do not become true, but have become so internalised that even its opponents believe in them. The popular idea of the goodness of this regime has become so ingrained and immobile that change appears impossible, no one now proposes any other forms of organisation, or even other forms of living.
To us the daughters of democracy, they have told us that this is the best of all regimes, our parents and grandparents lived under a system where coercion and repression were more direct, and now that things are gentler, we are obliged from birth to accept it. How is it that we are becoming a generation more impoverished than those before, without going through a war? Because of a situation that is imposed by this system as inevitable.
The free association in which democracy is said to be based is nothing of the sort, because from birth we are obliged to belong to this regime without being allowed to choose other forms of life. We do not associate freely within educational institutions because other ways of learning are made illegal, we do not associate freely within work because we do not control what we produce, nor the time clock, nor do we have the capacity to organise ourselves together with companions.
Universal suffrage, a concept that throughout history has been praised as a victory for increasingly greater parts of the population, puts itself in question. They have always told us that the vote is free when in reality it is a limited choice, because consciousness is not free, it is subject to the propaganda of the regime and the culture defended by the groups in power. It also denies freedom by reducing it to no more than giving an opinion, “yes” or “no” or on what party is going to govern, denying us the possibility to develop other proposals for living together. And because it is anonymous, is there no freedom of expression?
In democracy we give up our interests, the satisfaction of our needs and the organisation of human relations and of life, into the hands of others. By means of the vote we supposedly choose those who can better represent our interests, but here we collide with reality: the political parties defend their own interests in accordance with the rules they themselves have established, they seek to accumulate levels of economic and political power in order to maintain their domination and influence on the rest of society.
Criticism of politicians is almost universal, trust in their justice system does not exist, and its use only a proof of the personal and collective incapacity to resolve conflicts, of its incapacity to convince. The laws clearly have economic intentions, with their eagerness to collect money, as with fines or labour market reform, or directly through the economic organisation of society, while at the same time they carry out the work of repression cutting the liberties that they claim to defend (free association, free press, free assembly …) and continually extending the threat of prison (the latest highway code). In this way human beings are made into citizens (or consumers, or users, or clients … depending on the context), with the corresponding rights and duties imposed on us, and so, made into political merchandise.
Democratic fundamentalism does not limit itself to the territories it currently dominates, because capitalism to survive needs to expand, and so it tries to reach every corner of the planet imposing democracy, the best hotbed for development. It does not hesitate to launch military campaigns against territories where capitalism is not rooted, demonising their customs and culture to win support from the population of the attacking country.
It imposes a model of life by force, both inside and outside its borders, while selling a false idea of freedom. Never before has a regime had in its reach so many means of repression and social control. Policies are made based on the needs of the market. In democracy our choice as voters has the aim of supporting the political measures that our governors have to carry out whether they are of left or right.
In this historical moment the various political leaders have no opposed interests, apart from gestures. All should promote the structure of the state in which capital develops, and apply policies according to the needs of the market not of people. Indeed, in many cases the politicians are direct beneficiaries as they themselves belong to the business class. We have all been silent witnesses of how the government has injected millions of euros to the banks while most people do not have work or are suffering from evictions. We are also accustomed to hearing how the webs of corruption directly tie together economics and politics. Without mincing words and with little concern to hide the reality from the population, Emilio Botín [chairman of Santander bank, died of a heart attack in September 2014] says: “above certain levels the relation between business and politics is direct, much more than people suspect, a direct phone call from mobile to mobile without any secretaries in between”. When it comes time to legislate, democracy is based not on common interest but on company interests.
For these reasons we conclude that democracy is not the government of the people but the masquerade behind which hides the dictatorship of capital.
IF WE BELIEVE THAT DEMOCRACY IS FREEDOM WE WILL NEVER STOP BEING SLAVES.
LET’S UNMASK THIS GREAT LIE!
LET’S BUILD ANARCHY!